On a visit to the Jobson home office last week, I got a copy of the 20/20 Magazine February print edition ‘hot off the presses.’ If you haven’t seen it yet, this isn’t a spoiler, but one of the feature articles is “Passion for Fit” by Barry Santini. The article has a quote from Alexandra Peng Charton, designer for TC Charton Eyewear, specializing in Asian fit designs. She asks, “Do you care? Do you care about new opportunities to better serve your patients?” I haven’t been able to get those questions out of my head.
Just about all of us can recall experiences when an Asian or African-American woman fell in love with a stylish zyl frame that just didn’t fit well. We then talked her out of it in favor of a “nice metal frame” because it had nosepads we could adjust for a custom fit. Or, if she insisted, she got the zyl with the caveat that there was only so much we could do to improve the fit. How did that woman feel? Was she somehow deprived of something she liked and wanted because of the bridge of her nose? Did we adopt our optician-knows-best attitude and move on, or did we consider that she might be disappointed?
While men pose the same fitting challenges, we caught a break for many years when metal frames were the more popular men’s style. That’s changing now with bold zyls in colors other than black or brown taking over. And don’t get me started on temple length! When did 140mm become the universal distance between the front of the face and the back of the ear for men AND women?
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we can show our patients a little love by thinking about them and the frame fitting challenges for them and for us. Take a good look at your frame board, then look at your patient demographic. Check your competition, too. It’s possible that you could differentiate your practice from the others by offering frames in a wider variety of fitting options. Frame reps almost always start by showing you their best sellers first. Nothing wrong with that, but next time, try asking them what’s new in bridge and temple fits. You might be surprised at what they have to offer. Your patients will love you for it!
For more information and tips for marketing the right frames for the right faces, check out our CE “There’s a Hole in Your Frame Board” at 2020mag.com/ce.